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Small cell lung cancer patient. Have normal WBC. Does this have any significance?

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Oncologist, Radiation
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 526 Questions
does a normal wbc in a small cell lung cancer patient (after chemo and PCI treatment) have any significance?
Posted Thu, 4 Apr 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Dipanjan Majumder 47 minutes later
Small cell lung cancer is relatively chemo sensitive. Complete response is very common.

Now, small cell lung cancer has a chance to metastasize to brain within a short period of time. Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) is given to prevent this metastasis.

Most commonly prophylactic cranial irradiation is given to those patients having complete response to chemotherapy. (In limited stage disease chemoradiotherapy is standard of care)

On chemoradiation there is a chance of bone marrow suppression leading to decrease in WBC count, haemoglobin drop, and low platelet count.

For this reason complete blood count is being checked at regular interval.

As you have mentioned about normal WBC count, it signifies the treatment has been well tolerated by the patient. It is definitely a good thing to note. Normal WBC means your patient is doing extremely well. Do not worry at all.

Hope this answers your query. I will be available for follow up
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